This review gives an overview of agricultural topics on a non-model species, in other words, leaf chicory. Often classified as a minor crop, “Radicchio”, the Italian name of leaf chicory, is assuming a very important role at both a local and national level, as it characterizes a high proportion of the agricultural income of suited areas. Botanical classification along the genus Cichorium
is reported and a detailed description of the most important cultivated biotypes typical of northern Italy is presented. A special consideration is reserved to breeding aspects, from molecular marker-assisted selection to the implementation of the first genome draft and leaf transcriptomes. Sexual barriers, for example, self-incompatibility or male-sterility, are described in great detail with the aim to be utilized for breeding purposes. The main aspects of seed production are also critically presented. In conclusion, the present work is a sort of handbook to better understand this orphan crop and it is mainly directed to breeders and seed producers dealing with leaf chicory.
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